The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

The Elite Ayrshire Business Circle

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Ayr Gold Cup Festival sponsored by bookmakers William Hill

By: Iain Ferguson

WILLIAM Hill is the new sponsor of one of Scotland’s biggest betting events, the Ayr Gold Cup Festival, after agreeing a three year deal with Ayr Racecourse which runs to 2011.

[Pictured: Regal Parade ridden by jockey William Carson winning the 2008 Ayr Gold Cup.]

The agreement includes the naming rights to the Festival and a package of individual races which will carry the sponsor’s name including the William Hill (Ayr) Gold Cup - Europe’s richest sprint handicap - and the William Hill (Ayr) Silver Cup.

The total prize money for the 2009 William Hill Ayr Gold Cup Festival will top £600,000 with the 27 runners in the six-furlong Gold Cup chasing a pot of £150,000.

William Hill chief executive Ralph Topping commented: “The Ayr Gold Cup is a terrifically competitive betting race, throughout the whole of the UK, but especially in Scotland.

“Punters love high quality, competitive handicaps and the William Hill (Ayr) Gold Cup offers them one of the most vibrant betting markets of the whole flat racing season. As someone who worked in Glasgow betting shops in the seventies, I clearly remember popular winners like Roman Warrior and the ‘buzz’ that betting shops have around the Ayr Gold Cup.

“It is one of the biggest betting days of the year, and with the terrific and loyal customer base William Hill has in Scotland, I want to maintain that buzz for years to come.”

[Pictured: Jockey William Carson celebrates winning the 2008 Ayr Gold Cup on Regal Parade.]

Ayr Racecourse managing director Richard Johnstone welcomed William Hill as sponsors of the famous race. He said: “The Ayr Gold Cup Festival has a long and illustrious history and it is fitting that an iconic name in horse racing is now the new sponsor of the race. In negotiations it became clear that the standing the Ayr Gold Cup has within the sport was one of the great attractions to William Hill.

“This festival continues to grow and more than 35,000 attended over the three days in 2008. All at Ayr Racecourse are looking forward to a long and rewarding association with William Hill.”

* The Ayr Gold Cup is Europe’s richest sprint handicap.
* It was first run in 1804 with the first winner Chancellor.
* It became a Handicap in 1855.
* It was first run on the present Ayr track in 1907.
* David ‘Dandy’ Nicholls has trained five of the last nine winners of the race.


Ayr Racecourse

William Hill


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